Permitting Guide

Building construction is regulated by the Massachusetts State Building Code, 8th Edition (780 CMR). The "residential" code - known as the IRC-2009 - regulates construction, additions, alterations, and repairs to 1- and 2-family dwellings. The "commercial" code - known as the IBC-2009 - regulates projects on new and existing commercial buildings. The IECC-2015 regulates energy efficiency, and the IEBC-2009 regulates renovation and additions performed on existing commercial buildings.

Section 110.1 of the State Building Code states that, "It shall be unlawful to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a building or structure; or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure: or to install or alter any equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by 780 CMR without first filing a written application with the building official and obtaining the required permit(s) therefore."

Building Permits

These are issued for some of the more common types of construction activities, including:
  • Above ground and in-ground swimming pools
  • Additions
  • Alterations to existing residential, commercial, industrial buildings
  • Decks
  • Fences more than 7 feet tall as of October 20, 2017, 9th edition of the building code
  • New commercial buildings
  • New industrial buildings
  • New residential buildings
  • Re-roofing and re-siding buildings
  • Retaining walls more than 4 feet tall
  • Signs
  • Storage sheds greater than 200 square feet in area
For more information please go to the building permit applications page.

Other Permits

In conjunction with the issuance of a building permit, quite often an approval or a permit must be obtained from 1 or more town departments or boards such as:
  • Assessor's office for correct owner and street verification
  • Board of Health for a septic system design, demolition of a building, or restaurant kitchen design
  • Board of Selectmen for permits and licenses for new and used automobile dealerships, commercial garages, common victualler's and those required for the sale of alcoholic beverages
  • Conservation Commission where disturbance will occur within a wetland or the adjacent buffer zone
  • Engineering for zoning compliance
  • Fire Department for a smoke detector, suppression system or other fire protection signaling system
  • Highway Department for driveway "cuts"
  • Shrewsbury Electric Company for connection and electrical services
  • Water and Sewer for connection information
  • Zoning Board of Appeals if a special permit is required or a variance is sought

Plumbing & Gas Permits

Plumbing and Gas Fitting work is regulated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Fuel Gas and Plumbing Code (248 CMR 1-7) and such work as defined in this code may only be performed by an individual duly licensed by the State Board of Plumbers and Gas Fitters. For more information please go to the plumbing and gas permits page.

Electrical Permits

Permits to perform electrical work are issued through the Shrewsbury Light and Cable Office (SELCO). The electrical inspector is employed by the Light Department and request for inspections and code information should be directed to that department. For more information please go to the Wiring and Electrical Permit page.